Sunday, April 27, 2014

Being A Builder!

It's tangible, it's solid, and it’s beautiful. It's artistic, from my standpoint, and I just love real estate…Donald Trump

Well coming from one of the biggest name in the real estate I am sure many will join his opinion. Well not sure about the later part i.e. being artistic, beautiful & solid but yes tangible by view of many who looks at real estate as well to the builders or we can say developers which is a modern term! As many people in the real estate don’t like to be called as “builder”, they feel it’s too raw or primitive. Now many of them call themselves as “Developer” or “Infrastructure Company”. Agreed, homes are one of the primary pillars of infrastructure though our Govt or society has failed to acknowledge this very fact. Recently during an informal meet of few fellow developers, one of them was telling that he has been supposed to attend a function at his son’s school & his son specifically told him not to mention in school that his profession is builder, as then the fellow friends makes too much of fun over his father’s profession! Joke apart builders have been always at the helm of critics after politicians in this country. And not for our country, all over the world the real estate & the people in has been always talk of the town.

A builder is very rich, he has liking for all fancy things in the world like big new car, latest of cell phones, branded watches, designer shoes & exclusive clothes. He always takes fancy number for his car as well for his cell, which are trademark of him. The builder travels all around the world most of the year & travels only in business class though he doesn’t make any business there. A builder lives, eat & drink only in five stars or above category hotels. A builder throws party for least of the reasons such as his son passing out of junior school & the party’s are always talk of the town & covered at page 3.
A builder rarely has to work actual & just uses others money. A builder has to have a lavish farm house where each week end is a party time for his friends. A builder need not have to be qualified rather less educated is the better for the profession or more successful on money front he is. This list can go on & on & people eagerly read about all the personal things of the builder.

Then there are myths on work or professional which are not that false in many cases. It's said about Zen (I am referring to the Zen religion & not car) that’s its most non religious religion. On the same line with all due respect to my fellow builders that real estate is most non professional profession. Reasons are simple; there is no value of any commitment in this industry. That’s why the myths or the experiences of the people associated with the builders have been accepted immediately by common man. Few of them are, a builder never delivers what he commits. Then a builder is never available in his office for his customers except when it’s time to receive some money. Same way he isn’t available for his contractors or suppliers. A builder never follow any time schedule, may it be handing over of the project or appointment with even his consultants. A builder pays very poorly to all his staff but make them work round the clock. A builder follows no rules or regulations & is above any law. A builder never builds what is sanctioned & never sell what is built. Encroachment on others land is most favorite thing for builder. A builder can vacate or clear any land may it be of Govt or private person. A builder’s file gets cleared from all tables in any Govt office in overnight. A builder can give power supply to over hundred flats from one electric meter. A builder is always being financed by some political person. A builder can get any Govt policy drafted from the top officials in his favor. And lastly a builder has to have connections with underworld.

I think only the famous Rajnikanth can beat the builder community on the myths front! Many will laugh or think I am exaggerating the things, and then trust me, you can go to any common man of the society & open a casual discussion about this topic & see what you get to hear! Also refer our Bollywood movies which are in a way our society’s mirror, they also display the builder as a villain & with all above characteristics.  All this indicates what? Nothing but what common man thinks about real estate & people associated with it. Well part of it may be truth & there are few personalities in the profession with these characteristics but that doesn’t meant the entire industry is like what people think. The era of above types builders have gone long back. Now with the internet & education people have exposure to lot of good things around & you can’t fool them that easily.

The truth is real estate industry is one of the most risk carrying industries in the country. First & foremost important thing is it doesn’t have the separate status of an industry itself. In actual its one of the biggest revenue generating industry for mostly all departments of the Govt & in a way is like a basic infrastructure segment. As a home is first & very basic need of any human being & the real estate industry is fulfilling that need. Yet it’s the wrong policies regarding the land & urban development by central as well individual states, the scene is worsening each day. Right from acquiring the land to get its clear title to get it demarcated & then carries out the sanctioning process; everything has been so tedious that even a builder gets frustrated like any other common man. Then the industry is never dear to banking segment & is considered as non priority segment. You need maximum funds to acquire the land & no bank gives money to acquire or buy the land. But the same bankers are laying red carpet for the flat holders of the project for home finance! So the builder has to borrow from private entities & here is where all the bad or ill nexus comes in the picture. And sure these are not saints who comes forward to finance the builder for the land, they charge heaviest interest rates & who at the end is going to bare that burden but flat buyer! Why can’t finance ministry take lead & come up with special finance for real estate & prioritizes the same?

Similarly fast track clearance for all types of sanctions are must & everybody speaks about it but in reality even a school going boy can tell the way Govt machinery works! Main thing is about policy making for real estate; her even God will get scared as what lies next when it comes to ever changing rules & regulations for the industry. May it be TDR or height of the building type basic rules; they are not fixed even for a city. And the vagueness in which they are drafted, for every other case one has to go to higher authority for the discretion & we know nothing comes free here! The price paid is not only the money but the unending hours lost in wait & tension & stress for getting the clearances. The land lord is all together different specie now a day’s & he cares a hang about what’s going in market. This must be the only industry where MRP is not applicable as anyone can demand any ransom for his piece of land & yet we expect the end product i.e. the home to be affordable to common man!

After the Govt clearances then it comes to actual construction. With ever increasing labor problem, you never know when you labor force is going to run away from the site for a meager increase in wages they are going to get on some other site. Accommodation of the labors is a big problem with land becoming scarce & with the kind of labor laws we have like identification & registration of every individual labor, it’s just impossible to get & retain a good labor gang. Fortunately the scene in material market is much better & a relief for the builders. At least you can get whatever material you want by paying proper money.

If we want the industry to deliver then it can’t be done one way. We need to understand the ground realities of the business & then make the policies & see that they are effective to deliver the results. The target should be easy production of the homes & better people should join the industry. Now a day’s many qualified youngsters are joining their family business & no more its uneducated person’s type proprietary business. Terms like customer care & quality control unit are filtering in the industry & many builders keep direct contact with their customers or associates to understand their needs. Also there are many who are contributing to various social cause as well needs of the society too. But the customers should also reciprocate & try to question the builder & make him feel answerable. At the same time understand his limitations too & make pressure group for such limitations so the Govt will come up with proper policies for the same.

Ultimately a builder is as much important segment of the society as a teacher or a banker, so making him alien won’t solve the problem but the more we will try to make builder community human the better results we will have! And what more a society can expect than having a family builder like a family doctor, to have its own home!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

MSEDCL (Power) Committee, Credai, Pune

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1 comment:

  1. it is due to practics adopted by few builders and nexus between politians and them that builder has become bad word. nobody looks at their qualities of hard work and risk taking abilities. industrious practices


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